Wednesday, April 11, 2012

March Reading Round-up

Imagine, if you will, that you find a time machine lying around waiting to be used, and you use it to go back to March 31, 2012.

Why would you use it to go there, you ask?  Because if it was March 31, 2012, I would not be eleven whole days late in posting the March reading round-up.

Gah.  That should tell you something about my March reading, namely that I didn't read anything worth telling you about until it was already April, and we're going to go ahead and sneak some April stuff into the March post because . . . well, because it's my blog and I make the rules!

Okay.  We'll start out with Raising Stony Mayhall, a zombie book, because, don'tcha know, zombies are the new vampires.  If you like zombies, I can tentatively recommend this book, but only tentatively.  In this zombie world, zombies are infected with a virus that makes them temporarily lose their sanity, but after a few days they recover, and are totally sane -- just dead and decomposing.  And that just bugged the heck out of me, because everyone knows it's JUST NOT TRUE.  Zombies are crazy, mindless creatures that eat brains and they shamble, they don't run, and they don't organize into groups that fight for equal rights for zombies.

You know, forget it.  Don't read Raising Stony Mayhall.  Read World War Z, and if you love it, I can recommend some other great zombie books.

Moving on.  I was SO excited about Arcadia.  Lauren Groff wrote a favorite of mine, The Monsters of Templeton, and I just knew this one would be just as good.  If I hadn't expected that, I think I would have found Arcadia to be a good solid book.  It's got hippies, which I like, and hippie commune people, which I LOVE.  But it was kind of predictable, until there was a weird twist near the end that was unpredictable, yes, but also a lame and obvious I-ran-out-of-stuff-for-my-characters-to-do-and-the-book-is-too-short kind of twist.  I wil say, though, that the characterization was great.  I really did care about the main character.  And the portions of the book centering on the commune were fantastic.

At the end of March, spilling over into April, I saw The Hunger Games movie (liked it), which led me to re-read the books (LOVED them), which led me to buy another trilogy which Amazon recomended for Hunger Games readers, called the Chaos Walking trilogy.  First, let me say that these books read kind of like a first, or maybe even second, draft.  An editor realy needed to, well, do some editing.  They're too long, and I got tired of the "we're safe!  But wait --there's the villian behind a tree, so we're not safe!" kind of twists.

But.  The more I read, the more impressed I was by this series.  It's young adult fiction, but with some REALLY adult themes.  The heroes (yes, a bit too much like Katniss and Peeta) try SO hard to do the right thing, and discover that it's hard to figure out what that right thing is, and also that they can't really trust anyone else to tell them what the right thing is, and also that in trying to do that right thing they often do very, very wrong things.  There's alot in here -- politics and class warfare and plain old war and prejudice and free will and truth and I'm sure alot of other themes that I'm forgetting.  As a series, it's a fun read, and it will give you things to think about.  And if you've already read The Hunger Games, it will help with that young-adult-dystopian jonesing.

So, that's March.  Happy reading.

No comments: